Just The Two Of Us in California/Nevada

From Amber 
(who is so excited that she finally had a night away that this post is probably about four times longer than it needs to be...)




Two weeks ago Graham, Mycie and I loaded into the car with one night's worth of necessities and headed over to Lake Tahoe's north shore to meet my mom and her husband. They had seen a band play in Kings Beach the night before and had their motel room for one more night. They offered the room to me and Graham and offered to take Mycie home to the south shore with them for the night!

It was only our 2nd night alone together since she was born two years and nine months ago! Not that we weren't going to miss this sweet little face and adventurous spirit:


But we were looking forward to some time alone, and to catching up on some sleep:


The drive between Grass Valley/Nevada City and Lake Tahoe is gorgeous, perhaps especially in spring time when the sun is shining but the majestic mountains are still white with snow:


The infamous:



Our first glimpse of Lake Tahoe (above is Donner):


Having been born and raised in South Lake Tahoe I got mad love for this here lake. Ever since leaving home I sort of think of it as my little brother (since I don't actually have one)- something I know well, love dearly, miss when I'm away, and feel very protective of (the lake's breathtaking clarity is threatened by global warming and the imbalance of microfauna it is causing).



Took these to indulge Sasha's love of vintage signs:




We stayed at the Tahoe Biltmore:



First order of oh-my-god-it's-like-we're-a-real-couple-again business- coffee, water, and tortilla chips at the beach:


Only sissies think the lake's too cold to go in :-)
(so says a proud local who, okay, actually didn't go in the lake on this trip... but these guys did!):


Next order of business- figure out what to do with our evening. The Tahoe Biltmore hotel/casino is just on the Nevada side of the border in Kings Beach, and we drove the 10 minutes to Tahoe City on the California side to see what was going on. The most exciting thing we found was a hitchhiker. The first thing he said to us upon getting in the car was "Happy 4:20" (it was April 20th) and then he went on to regale us with tales of his semi-criminal past. By "regale" I mean that he never stopped talking, the entire 10 minutes back to his (mom's) home in Kings Beach. Oh well, we decided, since we're back where we started from in Nevada, let's gamble. (We also spent a fair amount of time walking to all the casino's arcades in search of Skee Ball, only to be greatly disappointed).

A little known secret about me: I dealt black jack in South Lake Tahoe the summer I turned 21. My parents have worked in the south shore casinos for over 30 years (they met there, in fact). So I know a thing or two about black jack. Which isn't to say I know the secret formula for winning, cause there's no such thing.

But I do know to only bet what you can afford to lose and to walk away when you've won a nice little sum. That being said, I do seem to have a lucky touch with this game. A number of my home town homeboys always grab me to go to the tables with them when I am in Tahoe because they seem to fare better with me looking over their shoulder. And so it was that Graham and I turned $10 into $50 on this night:




Did I mention that we also got drunk? (Hello, why else would I be licking a fifty dollar bill? Let's all pretend we never saw that). A very rare occurrence indeed. Graham somehow convinced me to drink an "energy beer" (along with my 22oz of Fat Tire). I did myself the favor of not reading the ingredients. But I do have to say that the buzz was awesome and there was no trace of a hangover the next day. 

Speaking of the next day, catch up on some sleep we did not...


Instead we ran over to Incline Village, NV to go thrifting. I scored my first ever thrifted necklace, yeah!:


 And we had two funny li'l adventures. The first happened at the Presbyterian Ladies Thrift (or something like that). As we were paying for a couple books and two items of clothing for Mycie a lady walked up and slipped a $10 bill on the counter, insisting that we take it. Then she looked at Graham and said "Don't leave that baby, don't you ever leave that baby." Despite Graham's insistence that he could never leave our daughter (who, you recall, was still on the south shore with her grandparents and whose existence this lady had inferred from the clothes we were buying), the woman kept at it with the the "Don't ever leave" and also added a good number of "God Bless You"s to the mix.

What to do with the weirdly acquired $10 but lay it down on the black jack table? Where we promptly doubled it, walked away, and filled up the tank for the drive home.

The second funny thing that happened was that Graham noticed that a teenage-looking girl by the side of the road was discreetly hitchhiking (it's illegal in Nevada). We picked her up and carried her across the border, as we had done with the dude the night before, only this time we went in the opposite direction. This girl too talked nonstop about smoking weed and her delinquent past. What is it with bombastic juvenile stoners needing a ride across the border in Lake Tahoe?

But my favorite part about the day was the dress I wore. I blogged about it here  after I purchased it on Etsy, but hadn't had it in person until the day before when we picked it up from Sasha as we drove out of town. I heart it oh-so-much. Here I am in a little faery/hippie store (was I appropriately dressed or what?):


Out in front of this shop was this statue. Upon seeing it Graham, so poetically, said "I wanna do that pirate statue":


Love the entrance and the shroomies painted on the door:


In the window:


Next door they were selling Lake Tahoe for hella cheap!:


Whatta deal, eh?

Okay, I know I drank a chemical-laden "energy beer" the night before, but the disgustingness of that could not compare to the uber fake and processed ingredients in the creamer they offered us at breakfast:


More of the dress:





After over 24 hours away I couldn't wait to see my baby again! We met up with my mom, who now had my grandma (who was visiting Lake Tahoe with a friend for a few nights) in tow, at the beach, where we all took a nice stroll:


Note Mycie's new dress (which she promptly took off), every time we see my mom she comes away with an adorable new dress!



Shots from the ride home:





Just to clarify, Nevada City and Nevada County are very much in California, about 2 hours away from the Nevada state border. South Lake Tahoe, where I grew up, is right on the border, but those of us who were born and raised on the west side of the state line very much consider ourselves Californians!

Before going home we stopped at our local natural foods co-op to stock up for the week and ran into Sasha and Chris! Sash and I loved it that we were both dressed like a walking advertisement for Violet Folklore (we really do sell the style of clothes we love and wear):


When we finally returned home we were greeted by glorious signs of spring's fertility- the first rose had blossomed, and the thyme and chives were flowering too!




'Twas the perfect cushion as we landed smack dab back into reality...